Category Archives: 1986

Bull Riding event in World Games, a computer game by Epyx 1986

The Epyx Games: World Games on the C64

Just when you thought Epyx had exhausted all possible sports events for their Games series, they scoured the four corners of the globe to find esoteric pastimes from eight different countries.

World Games was released in 1986, designed by Matt Decker, Joe Simko, Chris Oesterling, Doug Dragin, Bob MacDowell, Jay Braman, Jeff Webb, Brent DeGraaf and Steve Mage. Graphics work is done by Michael Kosaka, Jenny Martin, Suzie Greene and Courtney Granner. It was the fourth game in Epyx’s series of great sports games, starting with Summer Games in 1984.

The wide and weird collection of eight events featured in World Games really gives the title a special feeling, although Weight Lifting and Slalom Skiing don’t stray too far from the Olympic field. Barrel Jumping definitely delivers some seat-of-your-pants thrills, and it and the Caber Toss contain what little joystick waggling is forced upon players. The I Have No Idea What I’m Doing award goes to the Sumo Wrestling event.

Back in top form with World Games is the musical score, providing an aural taste of each country in both clever and extravagant ways. For me the audio highlight is the tune accompanying the Canadian pastime of Log Rolling, a song that would make any Monty Python fan smile. As for gameplay in World Games, an emphasis is placed on intangible timing over precise control, which lowers this judge’s grade a bit. Overall, I’d say my favourite event is probably Bull Riding. Trying to quickly read what the bull is doing and make the right move to stay on its back can be a bit nerve wracking. The time it takes to make a successful ride will feel like the longest eight seconds of your life.

Every game in the Epyx Games series will be featured in posts all during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Here are the links to the other articles:

The Epyx Games: Summer Games on the C64
The Epyx Games: Summer Games II on the C64
The Epyx Games: Winter Games on the C64
The Epyx Games: California Games on the C64
The Epyx Games: California Games II on PC (DOS)
The Epyx Games – The Games: Summer Edition on Amiga
The Epyx Games – The Games: Winter Edition on Amiga
The Epyx Games – The Fail Reel

As always, for more information on Epyx and the Games series, consult your local Dot Eaters article.

The Atari 7800 ProSystem

The 7800 was Atari’s follow-up to the 5200 Supersystem, and was originally announced in 1984. Unfortunately, when ex-Commodore head Jack Tramiel took over the consumer division of Atari that year, he froze almost all video game projects to focus instead on the company’s 16-bit computer line.   While the 7800 might have been a force to be reckoned with in 1984, the video game landscape had changed substantially by its eventual release in 1986, and Atari’s console struggled to make an impact in a market where heavyweights Nintendo and Sega were duking it out.

The ProSystem sold over 3.5 million units in four years, and produced some pretty good home translations of arcade hits like Dig Dug and Xenophobe.  The gaming world, however, had moved on to the sprawling, original worlds of Super Mario Bros..For more on the history of the Atari 7800 ProSystem, consult your local Dot Eaters article.

King’s Quest III Redux Released

The gang at AGD Interactive have taken it upon themselves to remake several classic Sierra-Online adventures, and have just released their makeover of King’s Quest III: To Heir is Human, originally released by Sierra in 1986.  The game graphics aren’t completely modernized to today’s standards, but are a nice SVGA overhaul.  The addition of a point-and-click interface, as opposed to the original’s text parser, is also greatly appreciated.

It also retains the original’s epic story of a royal baby stolen and a quest to regain a rightful place on the throne.  It was with KQIII that the storytelling powers of creator Roberta Williams really began to come into full blossom.

At a grand total of free, the price can’t be beat. Available for the PC and Mac.